‘Canada’ MP Goes To Sup. Court Again

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Gyekye Quayson, who has been ordered by a Cape Coast High Court to vacate his seat in Parliament with immediate effect, has filed fresh application at the Supreme Court to prevent a by-election.

On December 13, last year, the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast had dismissed two out of three preliminary applications the embattled MP had filed at the appellate court.

Three Applications

There were three preliminary applications he filed after the High Court found that he was holding both Canadian and Ghanaian citizenships whilst filing to contest the 2020 parliamentary election which he won on December 7, on the ticket of the NDC.

First, he filed an application for a stay of execution pending the appeal.

Second, he is asking the appellate court to refer to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

Finally, the ‘Canada’ MP asked the appellate court to grant him leave to file additional grounds of appeal.

The embattled MP in early August was ordered by the High Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, to leave Parliament on the grounds that he was holding dual citizenship.

He has since been challenging the declaration by the High Court and as part of the process, filed an appeal at the Cape Coast Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal subsequently dismissed the issue of the reference to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution and also dismissed the issue of his request for leave to file additional grounds of appeal, but granted the leave for the MP to file supplementary affidavit in support of the application for stay of execution and adjourned proceeding to January 24 which was yesterday.

During the yuletide, the embattled NDC MP rather filed an application at the Supreme Court, challenging the decision by the Court of Appeal to dismiss his motion for interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

When the case was called yesterday, Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the MP, confirmed the filing of the application and said due to the pendency of the application at the apex court, the appellate court needed to stay the proceedings pending the outcome of the application at the Supreme Court.

He said the Supreme Court had fixed February 8, to hear the matter.

Frank Davies, counsel for the applicant turned respondent in the instant scenario, opposed the application and said the mere fact that an application has been filed at the Supreme Court did not become an order until it is determined.

The three-member panel then agreed with Mr. Davies but said out of deference for the Supreme Court, they were adjourning the matter until February 21, for the MP to move the application for stay of execution.

Main Petition

The petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, on January 6, 2021, applied for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the then MP-elect from being sworn in and holding himself as MP for Assin North because he claimed the MP held Canadian citizenship.

The High Court granted the application, but in flagrant disregard for the court’s order, James Gyekye Quayson then was subsequently sworn in to be part of the Eight Parliament of the Fourth of Republic on January 7, 2021.

In the substantive petition that challenged the qualification to be an MP, the petitioner intimated that per Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution, the Representation of the People Law, Act 284 and the CI 127, Mr. Quayson was not qualified at the time of filing to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections, and should be disqualified.

The petitioner had claimed that as at the time Mr. Quayson was filing his papers with the Electoral Commission to enable him to go to Parliament, he was holding dual citizenship (both Ghanaian and Canadian), which the 1992 Constitution expressly does not allow for all those aspiring to hold public office in Ghana.

The petitioner therefore, asked the court to declare the Assin North Parliamentary Election null and void, and order fresh election.